The State Board of Education in California Thursday passed the first update to the framework on teaching history and social science in the state since 1996, reports Ed Source.
The vote settled disagreements on the teaching of comfort women, Muslims and Hindus.
Indian Americans were particularly vocal. They bombarded the Board with 10,000 emails and 1,000 suggested revisions.
Some Hindus objected to references to the caste system while others opposed efforts to diminish the persecution of certain castes.
There were also objections by Muslims to the references to false conversion by Islamic rulers on the Indian subcontinent.
At the vote Thursday, some, who traveled from across California, carried signs that read “Stop Islamophobia” and “Stop Hinduphobia.”
In the end, the board voted to tweak the language referring to Muslim conversion.
The board said it included “positive facts about each religion, but we did not want to neglect negative facts” like the caste system.
Former State Superintendent of schools Bill Honig, who sat on the State’s Instructional Quality Commission, and Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Adams said references to Korean Comfort Women would remain despite objections from some elderly Japanese who denied South Korean women were forced to become prostitutes during WWII. They compared it to references to slavery in the United States.
“We are not the arbiter of historical debate,” said Adams. “We will turn it over to students to make their own judgment.”
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